In July, we joyful reported to you of Mosul’s liberation from ISIS control, and now we echo that with the news of “major military operations” in Raqqa ending and a declaration of liberation expected soon.
It is apparent that ISIS’ reign is declining—praise God!
Raqqa became the de facto capital for ISIS following a few territorial gains in 2014. This is where they carried out public beheadings and crucifixions. It was a base to launch terror attacks around the world.
Watch CNN’s drone footage of the devastation to Raqqa.
This victory came after SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) efforts to retake the city, which began in June. ISIS fighters have been cleared from the area. The group’s black flag was hauled from Raqqa’s stadium, their last hideout, on Tuesday.
- The war efforts that began in June to reclaim Raqqa have left 450,000 more people displaced out of the millions already displaced from ISIS violence and reign. We thank God for this victory, while also remembering the people affected by these efforts. May God continue to provide for and comfort them.
- Additionally, SDF has committed many human rights violations against civilians as they have fought. The people of Syria have longed for this ISIS liberation, but it has come about in an indecent way, so we pray for those who are both dealing with the trauma of ISIS violence and the vulgarity of SDF.
- This victory is not a guarantee for any amount of time, so we pray for the Lord to guard this region and provide them with long-awaited peace. We pray for God to raise up godly leaders to help keep measures in place to protect their people.
- We also pray for ISIS. With this victory in Raqqa does not come destruction of the group or their ideology. They have publicly remained steadfast in their goals, and so we pray for God to show them the evil in their ways and for them to cry out to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.
- We finally pray for God’s will. We all pray diligently for the destruction of ISIS, but we know that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church,” which is sometimes exactly how God chooses to work. Whether there continues to be war and evil reigning in the Middle East or ISIS is vanquished before our eyes, we pray for God to use what happens for His glory and to bring many sons to glory.